Rubber base gel (also known as the rubber base coat) and rubber top coat are two new products on the market but many nail techs already love to use them on their clients.
These products can be used with nearly any other brand of gel nail polishes.
Rubber base gel is especially great for people with nails that are prone to chips and peeling no matter what brand of gel nail polish they use.
And it’s an excellent solution for people with thin and weak nails.
Since rubber base gel and rubber top coat are two relatively new materials that the nail industry offers, there are lots of questions people have:
- What are they?
- How to use them?
- What lamp to use with them?
- How to remove them?
I’ll try to answer them all!
Let’s dive right in:
|Kodi Professional||Popular clear rubber base coat||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Kodi Camouflage||Popular camouflage pigmented base coat||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Daily Charme||Self-leveling rubber base coat||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|NSI Pink Base Coat||Pink rubber base gel that you can use as a builder gel||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|NSI Peach Base Coat||Peach rubber base that you can use as a builder gel||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Rosalind Base Coat||Budget-frienly professional product in a jar from a Chinese brand. Comes without a brush.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|LYUNAIL Base Coat||Chinese brand, comes in a 15 ml bottle||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Kodi 6 In 1 Set||Kodi's set of 6 camouflage colors in one boxed set||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Kodi Base Coat & Top Coat||Kodi Professional rubber base coat and rubber top coat set||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Rosalind Top Coat||Budget-friendly wipe-off rubber top coat in a jar, comes without a brush||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Kodi Duo Set in Jars||Kodi rubber base coat and rubber top coat set in 2 large 35 ml jars for professional nail techs. Come without a brush. Wipe-off top coat.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
Best rubber base gel and rubber top coat brands
Kodi Professional Rubber Base Gel
One of the most famous rubber base gel manufacturers is Kodi Professional.
Kodi was one of the first to introduce this innovative product.
Kodi Professional is a company from Kyiv, Ukraine.
Their professional nail products are made in the USA, Germany, China, and Latvia, but packaged in Ukraine.
All their products also have ISO quality assurance certificates.
Kodi caters to professional nail techs, makeup artists, lash and eyebrow technicians.
They manufacture makeup, permanent makeup, gel and acrylic nail products, and eyelash extensions.
Kodi rubber base gel and top coat have become the go-to base coat product for many nail salons worldwide.
These are professional products created with nail artists in mind.
However, you can use Kodi gel base and top coat at home too.
Kodi Professional Camouflage Rubber Base Coat in Tea Rose
The camouflage Kodi base coat comes in a variety of gorgeous natural colors.
For example, Tea Rose, Natural Beige, Dark Beige, Cappuccino, etc.
You can even buy most of the colors in a beautiful 6 in 1 set.
Kodi Kamilfo Rubber Base Gel 6 in 1 Set
Kodi rubber base is also available as a clear base coat, as a duo set with a rubber top coat.
And in large jars as a duo set and as a standalone product.
These jars are convenient for professional salons and nail techs who need large volumes of product and are used to working with gels in jars and with gel brushes.
The jars are sold without a brush but you can buy a brush for builder gels to use with Kodi’s products.
Kodi Rubber Base Coat and Rubber Top Coat Set
Kodi Rubber Top Coat
Kodi rubber top coat is a wipe-off top coat that has a sticky layer you need to remove.
You need to wipe it with 99% Isopropyl alcohol and a lint-free wipe after curing it under the lamp.
But its plus is that it’s more elastic than a no wipe one and is less prone to cracking or chipping on thin nails.
This top coat will flow into place after the application.
So it will make your nails look smooth and glossy with a perfectly shaped highlight when you wear them or take photos of them.
Kodi Set of 2 in 35 Ml Jars
Daily Charme Self-Leveling Rubber Base Gel
Daily Charme started out as a nail blog created by two friends from California. They loved to collect nail art products.
Today the company sells its own nail embellishments, Swarovski crystals, tools for nail art, stamping plates, and nail polishes, including gel nail polishes.
One of the products they manufacture is the Daily Charme Self-Leveling Rubber base gel.
This product is made in Taiwan.
The self-leveling part of the name is pretty much true for all rubber base products and most nail builder gels.
After you apply the rubber gel and spread it over the nail plate, the product flows slightly on its own to create a smooth surface and to cover all the bumps or dents in the nail plate.
It works a lot like the self-leveling kind of concrete used for making floors.
The Daily Charme base coat has a medium viscosity. Which is good because it’s not too thick and not too runny.
It lasts very well.
And this product is also great for refilling the nail growth.
NSI Opaque Pink Camouflage Base Coat
NSI Opaque Peach Camouflage Base Coat
NSI stands for Nail Systems international.
It’s an American company that has roots in the dental industry.
And it’s one of the oldest manufacturers of professional nail products on the market.
NSI is an inventor and an early adopted of many revolutionary nail products used today.
In the 1950s the future founder of NSI, Dr. Slack broke his nail and fixed it with dental acrylics using foil as a guidance form.
That’s how nail forms were invented.
Today forms are an essential product for any nail tech who works with nail extensions.
Later Dr. Slack founded NSI and created some of the first acrylic and gel-based nail products. Including the ingredients that make the modern gel nail polishes cure under the UV light.
The rubber base gels that are available from NSI are camouflage ones.
That means they are not clear but opaque and pigmented with nude colors.
So these products camouflage all the imperfections of the nails making them look naturally smooth.
NSI rubber base coat comes in pink and peach.
It’s packaged in 15 ml bottles, which is a good amount of product.
The base coat has a medium/thick consistency.
So it flows pretty well and is easy to apply for people of all levels of skill.
And its plus is that it won’t run into the cuticles.
The company encourages customers to use this rubber base as a builder gel too.
So you can also create short nail extensions with it.
Just apply the nail forms (which were actually invented by the creators of the NSI rubber base).
Brush the product on, cure it, apply the second layer, cure it.
Then create a slight C-curve with its apex near the middle of the natural nail plate for added durability.
Cure it again, and finish it off by filing excess product and applying your gel nail polish of choice as you normally would.
You can download the detailed instructions for using the NSI rubber base gel as a builder gel here.
Rosalind Rubber Base Coat
Rosalind is a brand of gel nail polishes from China that sells its products all over the world.
They manufacture gel nail polishes, polygels, gels, nail powders, gel polish kits.
Their rubber base gel is sold as a professional product in jars.
Rosalind Rubber Top Coat
Rosalind is one of the very few companies today who also manufacture their own rubber top coat.
It’s sold in a jar too.
This rubber top coat is another wipe off one. But this feature makes it more flexible than a no wipe top coat, so it’s actually a plus.
It self-levels and offers smooth coverage.
LYUNAIL Rubber Base Coat
LYUNAIL is a brand of gel nail products from China.
They manufacture all kinds of gel nail polishes and builder gels and export them to the USA and Europe.
One of their best products is the LYUNAIL rubber base coat.
This base coat has the same elasticity and durability as other brands from Europe and the USA.
It does the job very well and comes in a nice large bottle that contains 15 ml of the product.
This is more than the standard bottles that some other manufacturers offer.
What is the rubber base gel?
Rubber base gel is a specially formulated new generation of gel base coat.
It’s a professional product that offers a greater grip with your natural nail plate and increases the durability of your gel manicure by preventing chips, peeling, and lifting.
Some users wear it up to 3-4 weeks without any chipping.
It also protects your natural nails from stains caused by gel nail polish.
And one of its best features is that rubber base coat and rubber top coat work well with nearly any brand of gel nail polish.
Smooths out the nail
Another important feature of rubber base gel is that it produces a strong and smooth coating on your nails and hides all the imperfections and defects of the nail plate.
This is why for many nail techs that I know this is the go-to base coat and natural nail overlay for gel manicures.
Can be used as a builder gel
It’s also great for building a slight C-curve arch for added durability.
You can use it as a builder gel to create short nail extensions on forms or on tips. It may not be strong enough for very long extensions though.
You can also use it to refill the nail growth after you have worn your manicure for a substantial amount of time.
Rubber base works well together with polygel too.
Elastic and flexible
Contrary to the popular belief, it’s not made of natural rubber (the kind you get from the Hevea rubber tree).
The name just means the rubbery qualities that the product has, such as elasticity.
This kind of base is soft and elastic.
Great for thin nails
And due to its elasticity, it’s the perfect kind of base coat to use on thin nails.
Hard base coats may lift off thin nails, while the flexible rubber kind of base would stay on better.
Good for at-home use too
Even though it’s a professional-grade product, rubber base coat can also be used at home.
This kind of base coat is non-toxic and low odor, which is a big plus!
Just like any other kind of gel base coat, it cures under the UV/LED lamp.
Clear vs camouflage rubber base gel
There are two kinds of rubber base gel: clear base coat and camouflage base coat.
Clear is pretty much self-explanatory. It looks like the ordinary transparent base coat but a bit thicker.
The non-clear version of the rubber base gel is called the camouflage base coat.
It’s a colored base coat. The color is always similar to the tone of natural nail plates. For example, nude, caramel, pink, peach, beige, taupe, etc.
So it basically combines a nude gel nail polish and the rubber base coat in one bottle.
This kind of base coat hides defects of the nail plate especially well and looks natural.
That’s why it’s called camouflage.
The smooth coating in a nude/light pink color that it creates is great for French manicures.
Thick and viscous
As I’ve already mentioned above, rubber base gel is close to builder gel but comes in a bottle with a brush, like a gel base coat.
It’s very thick and viscous because these qualities are necessary for the smoothing effect.
So it may be somewhat difficult to use for beginners.
But it doesn’t run off your nails into the cuticles and you can control its spreading.
In fact, its viscosity helps if you want to use it for adding thickness and strength to thin nail plates.
However, this base coat may not suit people with very thick natural nails.
A layer of rubber base gel will make them look too thick and bulky.
Rubber top coat
I don’t recommend using hard gels, hard top coats, and other hard materials over the rubber base gel because of its elasticity.
Hard materials may crack on the soft elastic base coat.
That’s why the best top coat to use with the rubber base gel is the rubber top coat.
This kind of top coat has as much elasticity as the rubber base gel so they work great together.
Rubber top coat is flexible enough not to crack or chip too easily.
So it’s more durable than an ordinary gel top coat.
Rubber top coat gel is also self-leveling, similar to some builder gels.
So after you apply this top coat it flows into place, creates a perfectly smooth coating, and gives your nails a high-gloss look.
Just what you need for a beautiful gel manicure.
This is it’s most attractive quality!
Another plus of this top coat is that it doesn’t turn yellow when you apply it over a white gel nail polish.
And it’s thick and viscous so it won’t run into the cuticles and will stay where you’ve placed it.
The only downside of thisk top coat is that it takes a bit longer to cure.
Kodi makes duo sets with both the rubber base coat and the rubber top coat gel.
How to apply the rubber base gel
Buff the shine off the nail plate and use a dehydrator.
Kodi Ultrabond Acid-Free Primer + Kodi Nail Fresher Dehydrator
Use an acid-free primer
Apply an acid-free primer to your natural nail plate for better adhesion before applying the base coat.
Don’t apply it close to the cuticles.
This will help your manicure stay on better and offers more protection of your natural nail plate.
Also, you can only apply the primer to the free edge if you want.
This will make the gel manicure removal easier than when you coat the entire nail with it.
Use a gel brush for rubber base coat application
Of course, if your favorite base coat already comes with a brush you can use it.
But if the product comes in a jar without a brush or if you are having problems while applying it, or if the layer you put on your nails is coming out too thick then you’d better use a gel brush.
It will help you distribute the product evenly, with better control, and in a thinner layer than when using a regular gel nail polish brush.
Gel brushes are very convenient and are used for creating extensions and nail overlays with gels and polygels.
You can buy this brush separately.
Beetles Gel Brush Set, 7 Pieces
Get a tiny bit of product on the brush, wipe the excess product off.
The brush should be almost dry.
Then paint a super-thin layer in rubbing motions but don’t cure it yet. Cap the free edge if you want.
This is not a real layer yet, it will serve as the ground for the base coat.
Distribute the rubber base gel
Get a drop of the product from the bottle.
Place that drop on the nail and carefully distribute it all over the nail plate.
Start with the area near the cuticles, go all the way to the cuticles but don’t let the polish leak.
Then distribute the product all the way to the free edge and cap the edge if you want.
The rubber base gel must cover the entire nail plate and spread smoothly.
After that, you can cure the finished layer and coat your nails with the color polish and the top coat.
How to apply the rubber top coat
Apply it in the same way as you are used to applying ordinary gel top coats.
Use a thin layer
Do this in a thin layer. No need to apply too much product hoping that it would improve the self-leveling process.
The product will self-level quite well in a thin layer too!
Let it self-level
You can help it by flipping the palm face up with the nails facing down.
Let the top coat settle and the surface become smooth before you cure it under the lamp.
Best UV lamp for rubber base gel and rubber top coat
Gel nail polish products need to be cured under a UV/LED lamp.
The curing process makes a liquid gel-based nail product turn into a hard coating on your nails, this process is activated by UV rays.
UV vs LED
UV-only lamps use UV bulbs to emit a wide wavelength range. This allows them to cure all kinds of gel-based products.
LED lamps have LEDs that emit a much narrower UV wavelength range.
So they may not be able to cure some gel polishes that are marketed as UV-only.
However, LED lamps are much more powerful.
LED lamps cure gel nail products a lot quicker than UV lamps.
It only takes about 30 seconds to cure the rubber base gel under an LED lamp.
That’s why UV lamps, being much less powerful and slower, have become almost obsolete after most brands of gel nail polishes started making LED curable polishes.
Curing rubber base gel safely
The more powerful LED lamp is the quicker it hardens gel products, but this may have a downside.
You may feel an unpleasant heat spike when a thick layer of the base coat cures too quickly in a powerful unit.
This also happens with ordinary liquid base coats.
After all, this is the first gel layer that goes onto your bare nails.
To prevent it you need to apply the rubber base or any base coat in a thin layer.
Also, select a lamp that has an additional low power setting.
For example, SUNUV manufactures a unit like this.
SUNUV UV/LED Nail Lamp
This lamp is powerful enough to cure any gel nail polish and has a low heat mode for curing the base coat gently.
Choose a camouflage base coat
Pigmented camouflage base coat and color polish cause less tingling than clear base coats because transparent coating acts as a magnifying glass for the UV rays.
So if your nails are thin or you often feel burning under the lamp you should choose the camouflage type of rubber base gel.
UV lamp safety
The US Food and Drug Administration states that lamps used for curing gel nail products are low risk when you use them as directed by the label or instructions.
Removing rubber base gel and rubber top coat
You can remove the rubber base gel and rubber top coat in the same way as you remove any regular gel base coat.
Do it by soaking it off together with all the other gel manicure layers.
Use an acetone-based nail polish remover and cotton pads.
Wrap your fingertips with the cotton pads placed on the nails in pieces of foil or use special nail clips.
Wait for 10-15 minutes for the gel nail polish to become soft.
After that, remove it with a pusher or an orange nail stick.